Take a moment to think back to a time when someone asked you how you were doing. What was your response?
I would guess that, like so many people, your response was "OK." This "OK" response is often released from our mouth without much thought or effort behind it. In most cases, this type of response provides a false sense of security to shield our true feelings and emotions about our present state of being. This cover-up is further justified by a belief that no one, not even our closest family members, friends, or co-workers, want to hear our real inner voice and all its dilemmas, both challenges or opportunities.
Are you really "OK"?
The "OK" response falls dead in the middle of what I call my human feeling barometer. This barometer has three choices to the question of how do you feel? The choices are Bad, OK, and Great.
Most of us stay away from the "Bad" response, which means life is filled with turmoil, defeat, and a never-ending battle to get out of some hole.
"OK" tends to mean we're not doing anything extraordinary or exciting or we're not experiencing the feelings we really wish we felt, such as "loved", "overjoyed" or "truly blessed!" About ninety-percent of the world's teenagers and adults find themselves in this "OK" state of mind.
What amazes me is that the years of public emphasis on self-worth and self-esteem has not produced a society of confident and content citizens. Most people still want to feel good about themselves through the validation of others, without having to perform up to their own expectations, or at a level that "wows" others to provide us high praise and accolades. Of course, you don't need someone else to tell you that you have value, you have that within yourself! In reality, the root cause of many self-worth and self-esteem issues is an inner battle between being OK and great.
If being average is contradictory to your vison, thoughts, and ambitions, then you need to choose to feel great, not just OK. You will escape, or discontinue, years of pent-up frustration, pain and suffering. And, you avoid the story of how being discontent plays out, such as, being easily irritable, complaining about other people and life events, and emotionally and physically feeling down, even depressed.
Are you OK with being OK?
In case you need to know, there is nothing wrong with being OK or average! It is a myth that society doesn't accept average...the overwhelming majority of folks we encounter are average! Our self-worth and self-esteem battles rage when we rank ourselves based on the accomplishments or lifestyles of others.
There is a habitual behavior to idolize highly successful people. These individuals chose the path of striving to be great. So, if you want to be like your idol, you will need to mimic their intense fixation with achieving the extraordinary.
Consciously choosing to strive for the "great" point on the human feeling barometer takes a commitment to make yourself better every day. Forget the comparisons to others and identify what makes you feel great, then go there! Take a hard run at your dreams. When you challenge your limits and chase your dreams, you'll feel purposeful and energized. And, it's a good idea to get help from a coach to push you to greatness.
So, the next time someone asks you how you're doing, tell them, "I'm moving closer to great on the things that matter!"
My challenge for you this week:
Make a decision about where you want to be in your imagined life:
1. Write down the types of things you want in each area of your life: relationships, career, income, health, etc.
2. For each area, decide whether you want them to fall within the bad, ok or great section on the feeling barometer.
3. If you have areas that you want to move toward great, become totally focused on taking daily action to make progress.
4. Before bedtime, write down what actions you've taken.
So, really, how are you doing? After reading this week's article, I trust that you will be able to answer this question with more thought and with more confidence.